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Monday, March 7, 2011

Mission Possible!

1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions.  Do what I say and you'll live well.  My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion.  They'll be with you to fend off the Temptress—that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress. 
(Proverbs 7:1-5)

God is not after a big church - he is after an obedient church.  It really doesn't matter the size of the church - the number of pews or the size of the building.  The thing that matters is the condition of the hearts that make up the "church".  Our text today deals with obedience - "Do what I tell you".  There are several key points outlined in this passage that deal with the evidence of obedience in our lives.  The first is that we will "treasure" God's instructions.  Look closely - they are not given haphazardly - they are "careful" instructions.  The requirement of an obedient heart is first to learn to treasure the things that bring growth, integrity, and restoration into our lives.  When we treasure something, we are regarding it in such a way that we keep it "stored up" - at the ready.

Next, we are reminded that the value of his teaching is as precious as our eyesight - so we need to guard it.  We all probably know the extreme measures we take to remove an annoying bit of dust, or a wayward eyelash from our eye.  It irritates us to know end to have that small particle on the surface of our eye that our IMMEDIATE instinct is to get it out!  When God's teaching is held as the "eye" through which we filter all that comes into our lives, we will guard it from all that irritates!

Third, we are to write the Word on our hands.  This is not a literal things - it is figuratively spoken.  What do our hands do?  They touch.  They either reach out or they resist.  Why is the Word to be affecting our hands?  Simply put, it is important to have the Word affecting what we touch and what touches us.  We want to be instruments of his grace - involved in serving where there is a need (touching others).  We also need to guard against being touched by that which will defile us (resisting).  Our hands are instruments of service and should be guarded as such.

Fourth, we are reminded that the Word of God needs to be etched on the chambers of our hearts.  The heart is key to life.  No circulation occurs without the heart.  Simply put, the very thing that brings life to our being is carried in the blood - the instrument for ensuring that the blood is transported to every living cell is the heart.  Blood passes through the heart on its way to and from each cell.  The Word of God is to be what gives us life - energizing us from within.

Last, but not least, we are to treat Wisdom as a sister and Insight as our companion.  Think of wisdom as a person for a moment - a sister.  If we have had a rocky relationship with our sister in the natural sense, this may be a little difficult to grasp, but bear with me.  Sisters are of the same bloodline.  They have a connection to us that goes beyond close association - it is more than skin deep.  There is a connection through the DNA we share.  God wants us to have that same depth of connection with his son - the embodiment of all wisdom.  He wants us to share the same DNA. 

Insight as our companion is simply having the discernment we need when we face a set of values that we need to evaluate for the "truth" contained within them.  We are bombarded by all kinds of values - some right on and solid, others not so trustworthy.  We need the discernment of a spirit connected to through the DNA of Christ.  A companion is one who walks with us at all times, not turning away in the face of danger or conflict of misunderstanding.  That is what we can count on from the Spirit of God - always there in the face of danger, standing strong with us even when we waiver in our own allegiance.

So, God's desire is an obedient church.  Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to en-graft the various means by which we will engage in an obedient walk.  When we are "born-again" into spiritual life with Christ, there is a "DNA exchange" that occurs - all things old pass away, all things become new.  Then we begin to explore the Word of God, not as a novel, but as a source of life (that which regenerates, refreshes, and reignites).  Soon, we find that we begin to desire to serve others.  In time, we begin to evaluate what our hands touch and what our eyes behold.  It all works together - one upon the other.  The mission may seem "impossible", but if we see the inter-related parts as a whole, we soon realize that we have what we need for the mission of obedience!